Born to be king

Photo by Jessica Lewis on

The thing about the Christmas story is that because a lot of the detail lends colour to the narrative, it is in fact matter of fact and to some extent incidental. We have focused so much over the years on mangers, inns and stables that they have become central.

Yet the one crucial detail in Luke 2 is this:

“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David”[1]

That’s right. The one important thing we are meant to pick up is that Joseph was in Bethlehem “because he was of the house and lineage of David.”  The point is that Mary and Joseph were descended from David, from Israel’s chosen king, of the line that had a covenant promise that their heirs and descendants would rule on the throne for ever.  Jesus was of that house and lineage.  Jesus was David’s heir.  This made him the chosen king.

The important thing about David was that he was chosen by God and recognised as a righteous king whose heart belonged to God.  Jesus as David’s heir inherits not just the throne but that status, chosen and righteous.

The focus of Old Testament prophecies was on David’s heir as the anointed (Christ/Messiah) king of Israel who would revive the nation’s fortunes. However, even in the OT, there was a wider dynamic at work, this king was one whose reign and influence would stretch all around the world (see e.g. Micah 4-5). Romans 11 shows how Gentiles are grafted into Israel. The King of the Jews becomes the King of Creation. Their king becomes our king.

If Jesus is the king in the line of David, then this means

  • He is a shepherd king who will provide for and protect his people like the shepherd protects and provides for the flock.
  • He is the one who rescues his people
  • He is worthy of obedience, faithful loyalty and praise.

This is our king. This is my king. Is he your king?

[1] Luke 2:4.

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